Oh hey Elimination Chamber. Didn’t expect to see you here. Oh boy this is awkward! So I know I said some terrible things about you back in February. Stuff like, “we don’t need you clogging up the Road to WrestleMania.” Or “I wish they would go back to No Way Out, now that’s a pay-per-view I can sink my teeth into.” You might have even heard me utter the truly most unforgivable phrase of “I think I can get behind the Fastlane special event” and I know that must have made you cry. But I’m telling you baby, Fastlane meant nothing to me! You will always be my one and only! Although we fell, to the end of the road, still I can’t let go.
Okay, it’s not that bad, but I do apologize again for being so insensitive. But what is this show doing here exactly? Is it a PPV? Is it a special event? A Network exclusive? Whatever you want to call it, it’s an excuse for me to write some amazing jokes and surround them with pictures I “borrowed” from the good folks over at WWE. This is a truly unique show as it is an in-between show for two secondary pay-per-views. Since we can’t overload Money in The Bank with two Chamber matches and Payback desperately needed a million rematches, we get our first Elimination Chamber since… last year! I do believe it is necessary though because we need to crown an IC champion, a scorching hot and fresh feud between two champions is about to commence, and the world needs more of my published work! So here’s to you!
NEVILLE VS. BO DALLAS
This may sound like hyperbole, but one of the greatest feuds ever in the history of NXT will now take to the big stage as The New Sensation Neville battles your inspiration and mine, Bo Dallas. Would these guys get ordinary pay-per-view time? Probably not, but this has actually been a fun low-card program. Neville’s leg has been banged up in recent weeks and like a good villain, Bo has pounced on that like a lion on an antelope. It stinks that this got Neville away from the Sheamus and King Barretts of the world, but the kid has plenty of time to climb back up the ladder. I’ve always been more of a Bo guy than I probably should be, but this could be a terrific showcase for him taking on a familiar opponent. Their wars with one another on NXT in early 2014 were entertaining as The Man Who Gravity Forgot ended The Inspirational One’s record-setting NXT Championship reign. Dallas still needs to prove he belongs up with the big boys in my opinion and a shady, under-handed victory over his arch-nemesis might be just what the doctor ordered. I don’t see it happening so let’s go with Neville and move on to the meat and potatoes of the show! MCGINN’S PICK: NEVILLE
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH
The New Day (C) vs. Kidd & Cesaro vs. Los Matadores vs. The Ascension vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The Prime Time Players
It is an absolute travesty that champs as awesome as New Day must be subjected to such barbaric conditions when they defend their straps inside the confines of the Elimination Chamber. Never before have the tag team titles been on the line inside Satan’s Prison and some of the hungriest challengers in the game are ready to end the clapping once and for all. If you have read me at all the last couple months, you know I am a major dye-in-the-wool supporter of Kofi, Big E and Xavier. I correctly picked them when all the PTBN “experts” thought they were a joke. Anyone who tells you that New Day isn’t awesome and one of the greatest tag teams in the history of human beings, is absolutely wrong and likely also hates Christmas and puppies. Now throw in the wrinkle from Smackdown that they might be in cahoots with The Authority and you have a license to print money. So why will they win here? Because aside from being awesome, I don’t think it’s time for them to lose in a multi-team match. They need to build up an alpha-dog among the many contenders and then when they pull the trigger, that team will become huge because they vanquished the evil trio.
But let’s break this down in case they pull that trigger on Sunday. You have the No Chance Gang (Ascension, Matadores), the up-and-comers (Lucha Dragons), the wild card (Prime Time Players) and the favorites (Kidd & Cesaro). The Dragons winning would be bold if not a hasty decision. They will get there in good time as long as they stay together. The PTP’s keep talking but haven’t done much walking so it’s hard to say they will win after all this inactivity. That leaves our former champs who remain super over though have come up short in recent bouts. I say we all just feel the power and clap along with the New Day as they overcome these most insurmountable odds in the chamber. MCGINN’S PICK: THE NEW DAY
DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH
Nikki Bella (C) vs. Paige vs. Naomi
I’m amaaaaazing! I’ma I’ma I’amaaaaazing! Oh sorry, was I singing that again? Is it stuck in your head now? Get used to it. Paige returns to this program after a month away nursing a storyline injury she suffered at the hands of Naomi. Mrs. Uso has been a breath of fresh air to the division. Her heel turn was so vicious and evil, she made the truly brutal Bellas seem sympathetic. Her shoes change colors, she brought back the 1993 female version of Diesel in Tamina to be her muscle, and that theme song is the largest earworm this side of Sami Zayn’s catchy little number. Nikki has held this belt hostage since Survivor Series! Do you realize that? Kevin Owens hadn’t even made his NXT debut yet when she won the title. That’s insane! She is due for a loss and here is where it happens. Paige is back and fresh off her break and definitely owes Naomi for her sneak attack in England weeks ago. I think those two will have a tremendous back and forth battle over the purple butterfly strap for most of the summer. I think Naomi finally reaches the top of the mountain but will be seeing Paige in her sleep for the foreseeable future! And that my friends will be amaaaazing! MCGINN’S PICK: NAOMI
INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH
R-Truth vs. Sheamus vs. King Barrett vs. Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
Woah where did the time go? I apologize for breaking the fourth wall here but some rag tag podcast called me in the middle of this article so I could help them pick the All-Time WWE Pay-Per-View card for November and December. Don’t worry, it happens all the time! Hopefully the quality of my analysis hasn’t suffered too greatly as a result of this delay. But that’s what I’m all about here on the PTBN PPV Preview. Honesty. No, I’m not stalling because I’m waiting on the latest injury update on Rusev and have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA who I’m picking in this match!
This match is as much of a “pick-em” as anything WWE will serve us on PPV this calendar year. To recap, Daniel Bryan gave up his title once again due to injury which calls into question whether or not he’ll ever wrestle again. As a result, some of the guys he has been beating regularly in order to validate that belt, now will vie for it here in another historic Elimination Chamber match. Some in this field should consider running away from this title or even eliminate themselves if they have to since that gold has done virtually little to improve their position on the card. King Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, I’m looking in your directions! Did you know Wade Barrett has held that belt 5 times? Seriously? Only three guys (Jericho, Jarrett, RVD) have had more reigns than the artist formerly known as “Bad News.” And where has it gotten him? In a truly dangerous spectacle of a match for that same exact championship. Run away Wade! Save yourself!
Let’s also rule out R-Truth. The guy is fun and the kids love the rap still but he’s glorified enhancement talent. Think Tito Santana as The Matador. So that leaves us with three big pieces of meat. I could get behind a Ryback title reign. He really hasn’t been in this position in years since his stock skyrocketed into the main event WWE Championship picture. He’s a Vince McMahon type of physical specimen who the fans still dig. Plus he’s never really won the big one before so this would be a tremendous showcase for Da Big Guy.
Rusev scares me because unless he is the greatest seller in all of Professional Wrestling, he could barely walk after his match on Smackdown. Whether he wrestles or not, I didn’t see him winning here for I still believe he is viewed more as a World title contender than a secondary one. I’m sure Lana will get involved and cost the Bulgarian Brute the winner’s pay.
So that leaves us with Sheamus. He hasn’t won this title before. He is enough of a main event star from the past that you could see him providing the validation for the IC title that Brian was supposed to. He offsets Cena in the face/heel dynamic for these lesser championships. He can continue to bully smaller guys while rubbing in their faces that he still holds the gold. He still looks stupid. I think it’s genius. Lock it up! (Before I change my mind!) MCGINN’S PICK: SHEAMUS
JOHN CENA VS. KEVIN OWENS
Dream match alert! Admit it. You never thought this day would ever come did you? The 15-year veteran of various indys, countries, smaller promotions and the like will finally get his opportunity to eviscerate the biggest name in Sports Entertainment. Even just looking at this photo, I still get the feeling this is one of those stupid fan images of dream matches. You know like Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk in a Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania 30-something. The point being, who would have even guessed in January we’d be talking about a Cena/Owens showdown? You just knew from the moment he arrived in NXT and saw your first “KO” t-shirt that this guy was special. They put a rocket up his ass and he shot far past the moon my friends. The current NXT Champion has been appointment television since his first day. It sounds cliche, but his unpredictability will always keep you guessing what he’ll do next. Break Sami Zayn in two? Sure! Power bomb John Cena on Raw and step on the U.S. Title in defiance? No problem! Do it twice? Hell yeah!
This match isn’t for any titles. Cena wants to teach this young punk a lesson he will never forget. Owens, always the prize fighter, wants nothing more then to dispel the notion that Cena is somehow better than him. He pretty much views the US Title as a downgrade from what he has already achieved. This match is tough to call. On the one hand, Cena beat some of the other top NXT talents during his US Open Challenge so what’s one more pelt to hang on his wall. Then you have Owens who is virtually flawless since his arrival and reports say his time on the main roster will be extended beyond this event. He has basically owned this program dominating Franchise and showing utter disrespect for the 15-time World Champion. We saw Cena lose to Rusev at the start of their feud so would it be so crazy for him to do the favors here with his belt not on the line? I don’t think so. As long as Owens stays on the big stage, I think he’ll be terrorizing Mr. Never Give Up all summer long. MCGINN’S PICK: KEVIN OWENS
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Dean Ambrose
I feel like I write about this match every couple weeks in some way, shape or form. Rollins and Ambrose must finish each others sentences (or sandwiches) at this point. How many times can you really take a punch in the face from a guy? Or threaten them with cinder blocks or get somebody arrested. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy Ambrose is back in the title/main event picture. Dude has paid his dues jobbing to the Kanes, Wyatts and television monitors of the world. He is much more entertaining than Roman Reigns or Randy Orton and I have no doubt this match will be very good to great. But will it be any more memorable than their previous wars on TV? I have my doubts. The market has been woefully over-saturated. I still am behind the Rollins as Champion train and predicted his reign would consist of challenges from all angles. First it was Orton, now Ambrose and soon Reigns will enter the fray on PPV assuming he doesn’t turn heel and join The Authority like some have speculated. They are playing up the “Best Buds” angle with Ambrose recently so that could set the stage for a double-cross. I don’t see that happening here but I won’t rule out some involvement by Roman. It seems kind of surprising he isn’t even on the card to devour J&J Security or maybe even Kane. Bottom line, I think the Rollins Express rolls on in a fun, if not over-played main event. MCGINN’S PICK: SETH ROLLINS
So there you have it! Be sure to follow all the action of Elimination Chamber this weekend at Place to Be Nation. Don’t miss a minute of the action by following us on Twitter for live updates and commentary throughout the show. You can also catch the PTBN Reaction Podcast dropping next week! Enjoy the show!